Reader’s Request Story #2 – Floor 45

The elevator doors opened.

“Going up?” the man said. He had a straight face, framed with wide rim glasses and long, cleanly shaven sideburns thinning to a goatee at the edge of his chin. His light brown hair was slicked back and he wore a gray suit with a skinny, solid black tie clipped to his freshly ironed white dress shirt. In his hand, he held a suitcase.

This is what he’d been waiting for. Agent Hopkins had been following Tony Wildo for weeks, but he hadn’t gotten as close as confined to the same elevator. This was his chance to finally get what he needed. He quickly eyed the suitcase behind his bronze, tinted sunglasses.

“Yes, please,” he said, slowly advancing into the open, silver chromed doors. He observed the buttons, which were all off. The top of the building was floor 45. He’d need all the time he could get. He pressed the button and the doors slowly confined them into the small, dimly lit, 25 square foot lift.

Hopkins eyed Wildo carefully. His next move would have to be made quickly. Wildo’s foot was slightly twisted to the left, implying it was noticeably weaker. He’d start there, then move to his arm. With one arm out, he’d have an easier time getting to the suitcase. That was his point of interest.

A light flashed and the elevator began its journey to the top. Now was his chance. He spun around on his left foot and clipped Wildo’s ankle, slamming him against the wall of the elevator, but Tony was back on his feet before Hopkins was able to go for the arm. He had anticipated his move.

Floor 3.

Wildo swung a right hook that collided with Hopkins jaw, nearly dislocating it. A sharp, acute pain shot through him, but Hopkins was a man of determination. He would not give up on something as insignificant as a punch in the face.

Floor 6.

Wildo was approaching rapidly, which gave Hopkins just enough time to block him. He shifted back, narrowly avoiding the knee strike and saving him the pain. Hopkins went for the arm. His hands propelled toward Tony’s arm, twisting it back. Wildo grabbed his newly dislocated shoulder in agonizing hurt.

Floor 12.

Hopkins time was running short. He’d have to get to the suitcase… and fast! He lunged for the bag, but Wildo was prompt to throw his body in front of him, blocking his hand from reaching the handle. His arm became bruised between Wildo’s head and the wall of the elevator. He was in high hopes Wildo had become faint from the blow.

Floor 18.

He was wrong. Tony snapped out his strong foot, smacking his legs out from under him. His spine met with the floor, knocking the wind out of him. He gasped for air and tried to get enough energy to get back up. Something cold and metallic pressed against his chest. He remembered, just then, of the Colt revolver resting inside his coat pocket. He had met his match, and now it was time to use it. He swiftly slid his hand into his pocket and gripped the handle.

Floor 26.

Jerking the gun out, he practically fired simultaneously, the brass bullet sinking into Wildo’s knee. He roared in pain and cursed out loud, grabbing his burnt, bloody bullet wound. Hopkins was able to get back up and approach him, the revolver centered in on his head. Wildo’s arm swung up, a look of true surrender in his eyes.

“Give…me…the suitcase…” Hopkins managed to say through gasps of air. Wildo starred into his eyes and looked down at the barrel of the gun.

“Give me the gun,” he said calmly, his eyes still locked on the agent’s trigger. Hopkins clenched his teeth together in anger.

Calmly, he replied, “Give me the…”

“GIVE ME THE GUN!!!!” Tony screamed. Hopkins jumped inside, not expecting such a ferocious outburst. He eyed the number on the LCD screen. ‘39’ it said. Unfortunately, he was distracted for just enough time for Wildo to make his final move. He inconspicuously slid a syringe out of his sleeve and deposited the contents into Hopkins neck, whom fell to the floor.

He crouched down beside the body and felt his wrist. No pulse. It worked. He leisurely wiped the blood off his bottom lip and picked up the suitcase.

Floor 45.

The doors opened, revealing a long, narrow hall to an open window. Everything was set, and nobody could stop him now. He looked back at the body lying in the elevator. Even Agent Hopkins. He strolled down the corridor to the window, his dislocated right arm limping at his side. When he made it to the window, he set down the case and opened it up. Inside was a red button, polished and untouched. He pressed it.

A buzzing noise sounded from the button, and spread to the whole building in a matter of seconds. The lights began flickering on and off. He stepped up to the ledge of the open window and jumped.


On the other side of the building, on the sidewalk below, Paul McKenzie was walking hand in hand with his wife enjoying the comfortable, evening sun. His phone buzzed. With his free hand, he grabbed his phone. Pulling it out, he noticed the screen resembled snow on an old TV. He let go of his wife’s hand and tapped the screen several times with his index finger.

“My phone’s gone berserk, honey. Are you seeing this?”

His wife screamed. He snapped his head in her direction and dropped his phone. She was on the ground, pulling her hair out from her head. Her eyes were burning.

©Brendan Swogger 2012

This readers request (which is a slight jump into the short story Acid Eyes has begun) was sent in by U.K. writer Tony Healey (a.k.a. @FringeScientist) who is a contributer to the Kindle All-Stars and author of The Honeycroft Series, The Stars My Redemption and the upcoming novel, The Ghost. Here’s the request:

“There’s two guys in an elevator. One carries a suitcase. The other wants the suitcase and is willing to use the gun inside his coat to get it. The elevator is riding to the 45th floor. When they got in they both pushed the same button, meaning they’re both going to the same place. The man with the suitcase knows the other guy wants it but doesnt know about the gun. What happens next.”

Thanks for the request, Tony. I hope I have satisfied you! You can buy all of Healey’s books on Have an idea for a story or simply want to challenge me to a writing exercise? (*wink*wink*) Go to the top of the page and click Reader’s Requests and send me a message with a short idea of the story. Yours may be used in a future post! Enjoy! 😉

About indiealtpdx

Writer for indie.alt and Vortex Music Magazine

Posted on 13/05/2012, in Short story. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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